The days of the workhouse running back seem to be coming to an end in the modern NFL as teams have gotten smarter with their players in regard to injury prevention.
While some teams opt to give the lion’s share of work to one back, coaches are beginning to embrace the idea of split backfields in order to keep their running back rooms fresh. This new trend only makes what running backs who enjoyed years of success toting the football look even more impressive.
One of the greatest running backs of all time, Franco Harris, is a perfect example of this as the Pittsburgh Steelers legend was renowned for his elusiveness, short-area burst, and versatility as a runner and pass catcher.
The NFL immediately mourned when news broke that Harris had passed away at the age of 72, and several members of the Las Vegas Raiders publicly voiced their condolences for the Steelers legend.
@Raiders @steelers @ProFootballHOF Wow, what a sad morning! Awakening to hear the loss of Franco Harris is devastating. One of the things I looked forward to at the HOF event every year, was finding some time to talk with Franco. When I first got in, he was one of the OGs that
— Tim Brown (@81TimBrown) December 21, 2022
#Raiders legend Phil Villapiano on Franco Harris: “We did so many things together. I can’t remember all these things over the last 50 years. It’s crazy. We were always doing the Immaculate Reception story and it got bigger and bigger.”
— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) December 21, 2022
Rip Franco Harris🙏🏼
— 🦅MaddMaxx🦅 (@CrosbyMaxx) December 21, 2022
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 21, 2022
Harris was a staple of the Steelers’ dynasty in the 1970s, helping the team win four Super Bowls during his tenure, and was even named MVP of Super Bowl IX. Aside from the multiple championships, Harris enjoyed plenty of individual success as he made the Pro Bowl team nine times, made First-team All-Pro once, and Second-team All-Pro twice. He was also named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1972, as well as the NFL Man of the Year in 1976.
The Steelers legendary running back was well-beloved by the football community, and his memory will live on.